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Wednesday, June 6, 2018

The Summer Theatre by the Sea by Tracy Corbett - Book Review, Guest Post & Giveaway

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Review by Suze

Charlotte loves her busy London life. She has a great career as an interior designer and is living together with her boyfriend in a beautiful home. Unfortunately she loses her job because of an unfair dismissal and her boyfriend breaks up with her on the same day. She's now unemployed and homeless and to get back on her feet she travels to Cornwall to stay with her sister. Lauren has a part-time job, so she can spend as much time with her children as she can. Her home is messy, but cosy and she has a large number of voluntary babysitters. This is exactly the opposite of what Charlotte is used to. Will the two sisters be able to get along?

Lauren is a member of the local drama club. Their next performance will be A Midsummer Night's Dream and to have something to do Charlotte decides to help with the set design. While Charlotte is slowly getting a life in Cornwall, Lauren is starting to become more withdrawn. Charlotte is determined to find out what's going on with her sister, so she can help her before she plans to go back to her old life in London. With the help of a handsome doctor, a kindhearted mailman and a gorgeous drag queen the sisters might be able to save their relationship, acknowledge their hopes and dreams for the future and find happiness again.

The Summer Theatre by the Sea is a wonderful heartwarming story. I like a good story about sisters and immediately loved Lauren and Charlotte. They couldn't be more different. Charlotte is stiff, career driven and organized, while Lauren likes her life to be messy, fun and filled with warmth. Charlotte is used to a high salary and Lauren has difficulties to make ends meet. Sharing a home together takes some getting used to and I loved witnessing the slow strengthening of their bond. There are many obstacles both sisters have to overcome, but family is important and they support one another even if they don't always approve of each other's methods. I enjoyed every single page of their story and couldn't wait to find out if they'd be able to find love, friendship and joy in their near future.

The Summer Theatre by the Sea put a big smile on my face. I love plays and was immediately captivated by the drama club Tracy Corbett is writing about. I really liked how she makes the members come to life. She paints a clear picture of their personality, their expectations, wishes, flaws and issues and combines this with a fabulous setting. I flew through the pages of this enchanting story and loved every single moment. I highly recommend The Summer Theatre by the Sea, it's sunny, wonderful, entertaining and delightful.


If you love stories about sisters, small towns and friendship The Summer Theatre by the Sea is an absolute must-read.

About Tracy Corbett

Tracy grew up in Berkshire as part of a large and noisy family. She now lives in a small village in Surrey with her motorbike-loving partner and works part-time for Citizens Advice. She’s worked for the charity for seventeen years in various different roles, including advising prisoners and representing clients in the County Court. She works with an amazing group of volunteers, who give up their time freely to help their community. She also finds it a great avenue for ‘people-watching’, something that as a writer, provides endless inspiration for character development and story ideas.

Away from work, Tracy has been actively involved in amateur dramatics since the age of eleven. She’s acted in many productions, written sketches and directed shows. Her first role was in Aladdin. She played a jewel in the genie’s cave and was told to ‘stand there and sparkle’ – not exactly taxing stuff. While most teenagers spent their free time obsessing with fashion, make-up, pop music and boys, Tracy would often be found prancing around the stage pretending to be Miss Muffet, Bessie the Milkmaid, and her personal favourite, Aurora the Goose. Adulthood brought with it more serious roles, such as Nora in The Dolls House and Maggie in Hobson’s Choice. She’s also played Viola in Twelfth Night and Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Her favourite role was Geraldine Granger in The Vicar of Dibley.

Tracy started writing in her late twenties, song lyrics, sketches for pantomimes, before attempting her first novel. Several re-writes and numerous writing courses later, she had her first near miss at getting published. Over the years she’s written numerous short stories, a number of which have been published in My Weekly magazine. She’s also been short-listed for several writing competitions, and won 1st prize in the Southern Daily Echo Feature Article competition before finally being published in 2017 with her debut novel The Forget-Me-Not Flower Shop.

Tracy describes her writing style as modern tales of romance, with engaging quirky characters, who overcome adversity, grow as people, and conclude in a satisfying optimistic ending. Her influences include authors Harlan Coben and Jenny Cruise.

Tracy’s ambition is to continue writing novels and making a fool of herself on stage.


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Inspiration for the setting of The Summer Theatre by the Sea
Guest post by Tracy Corbett

Although I’d been to the beautiful county of Cornwall a few times on holiday, it wasn’t until my partner’s mother moved down there that I began to visit frequently. The Summer Theatre by the Sea is set in the fictional town of Penmullion, but it was inspired by a few key places. The town itself is based on Looe, with its sloping hills, winding narrow lanes and stunning views overlooking the English Channel. Looe is essentially a fishing port and the harbour is the focus of the town. There’s a great mix of quirky shops and restaurants, and it’s lovely to wander around window shopping and enjoying the art shops. New Year is a particularly fun time to visit. Like many of the neighbouring towns, every year Looe hosts a massive street party with locals and visitors dressing up in the most bizarre costumes. And boy, do they take fancy dress to a whole new level! I’ve seen everything from Noah and his Ark (animals in tow), to a group of lads dressed as Crayola crayons (wearing only swimming trunks with their bodies spray-painted various colours – and in winter!) A group of rival lads were dressed as Smurfs, spray-painted blue, with the addition of white hats. Add in Star Wars characters, Harry Potter, Thunderbirds and Batman & Robin, and it’s quite a sight. It all culminates with a massive firework display on the beach at midnight, followed by a sea swim next morning by a few brave (crazy) souls.

Penmullion beach is based on the cove at Seaton. It’s a very pretty beach with sand dunes and a craggy rock face. It’s popular with families looking for a sandy beach and dog walkers alike. Stunning on a summer’s day, but harsh when the weather’s bad, as it’s so exposed. There’s a wooden café that I’ve also used in the book, which is a lovely place to stop off and have a warm drink or a spot of lunch. They have bench-seats outside, so you can enjoy the scenery and people-watch – my favourite pastime. 

The Corineus Theatre is based on The Minack in Penzance. What a stunning venue. If you ever visit Cornwall, I’d recommend a visit. The stage is cut into the rock face looking almost as if its suspended in thin air. With the waves crashing behind and the wind swirling around the stone walls, it’s quite a spectacle. I hadn’t realised until visiting the theatre to watch a production of Amadeus that the cast are all amateurs. Each summer season various amateur groups from around the country travel down to Cornwall to put on a show. The quality of the shows is brilliant, and it’s quite an honour to be chosen to perform there. Naturally, as someone who loves amateur dramatics, I was captivated, my creative juices began to flow and the idea to write a story was born.


Three very lucky readers of With Love for Books will receive a digital copy of The Summer Theatre by the Sea by Tracy Corbett.

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The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.


  1. The Summer Theatre by the Sea sounds like a captivating and heartwarming story with engaging and colourful characters.

  2. Heartwarming, thought-provoking and interesting, I really hope I win!

  3. This looks really good... thanks for the chance to win!

  4. Thanks for the awesome review & giveaway!

  5. Such a gorgeous cover. Will be excited to discover this book.

  6. Values are important, it's important to realize that education is an investment in the future. And of course, the society presents some difficulties, teenagers are very unformed and practically can't be focused on training. Fears, stresses, incomprehensible assignments which, moreover, are becoming more and more difficult ... This is how most students of high school look. And yes, in order to calm the panic, need to use all possible ways, starting with the help of parents and friends (moral support is extremely necessary), and ending with the help of professionals in homework on mathematics, physics, programming. But as soon as fears leave, there is a pleasure from the learning process, that's the result that is quite achievable, and about which every teacher and every student dreams.

  7. This sounds like such a good story and one I can relate to! My sister and I are so different, she has the best of everything, huge house with a pool, expensive cars, retired at 45, gorgeous, no children. Then there is me, I'm overweight, live in a small apartment, drive a 20 year old car, have 3 kids, 2 out of the house but still a 15 year old at home. We are crazy different in priorities, life styles, and pretty much everything you can imagine. We have practically nothing in common but love each other to pieces!!!! I adore her!

  8. This sounds like an exciting read! Thanks for the chance!��

  9. This sounds like a heartwarming read, I'll add it to my list!

  10. I like summer stories.Thanx for

  11. This sounds a great read. Love books set in Cornwall and "relocation" is one of my favourite topics to read about. You never know whether they are going to like where they go or they regret it as soon as they get there. Sounds a lovely summer read or one for curling up on the sofa under a warm blanket to remind you of the summer weather to come.

  12. This book sounds like such a lovely read! As a lover of Cornwall this sounds right up my street.

  13. I vividly remember my first role on stage: I was a tree! These days I'm in musicals & Panto in our local town theatre and adore it!

  14. I enjoyed the reminders of Cornwall in this guest post. I think I've visited more often since I moved here than when I actually lived in England. It really is a picturesque county with amazing scenery and buildings too. Good luck with your future novels.